Failing label doesn't fit Desert View
Arizona Daily Star
Opinion by Nick Majuta
Tucson, Arizona | Published:

Eighty-three schools in Pima County have been declared failing schools. These schools include elementary, middle and high schools. Desert View has the pleasure of being included in this list of underachieving schools.

When you hear the names of these schools, you can't help but picture the school being filled with students who either don't care about their education or students who are incapable of learning the material they are required to know.
Realistically, these schools might be nothing like they're thought to be. In my view, Desert View has the same number of intelligent students trying to do their best as at any other school. A big reason why Desert View, and any school on this side of town, is labeled failing is because we have a large number of students who use English as their second language.
These kids must take the AIMS or other tests to test their intelligence. But all it's really doing is testing the amount of English they know. Many of our teachers teach in English, and the English as a Second Language students are already having trouble learning the language, but now they have to memorize math equations and writing strategies in what seems like a foreign language. We can't expect them to have a great score.
Another big reason that the test scores might be so low is the fact that the number of special-education students is slightly higher than the number at other schools. They are also required to take tests like the AIMS in order to graduate. These students are having difficulties doing average things, and then on top of that they are being forced to test on things they might not have even been taught.
Considering these two factors and possibly many others, it's apparent that the government's method of testing the academic ability of students has defects.
They consider us a lower and failing school, but really what we are is a school that gives every single student exactly the same chance, even if it costs us our reputation. We are considered a failing school along with many other schools in Tucson, but in reality, we are nowhere near failing.